May 19, 2011

Mayor Rawlings-Blake Joins National and Regional Leaders in Signing Green & Healthy Homes Initiative Compact

Mayor Rawlings-Blake Joins National and Regional Leaders in Signing Green and Healthy Homes Initiative Compact.

Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake joined regional and national advocates for healthy, safe and energy efficient households in the signing of the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative Compact for the City of Baltimore. The Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) is designed as a comprehensive approach to offer integrated health, safety, lead hazard reduction, energy efficiency, and weatherization interventions in low to moderate income homes. GHHI was designed by the National Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning (Coalition) with support from the Council on Foundations to lead engagement with the White House Office of Recovery Implementation and other federal agencies efforts to align healthy homes with the increased investment in energy efficiency and weatherization.

“With the signing of the Compact, Baltimore City is making a commitment to making our communities healthier, safer and more energy efficient,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “This is a strong partnership between the public, private and non-profit sectors that cements Baltimore’s place as a national leader in the Green and Healthy Homes movement.”

Mayor Rawlings-Blake, Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia and other mayors from around the country have sponsored a Green and Healthy Homes Initiative Resolution for the 79th Annual U.S. Conference of Mayors in Baltimore to be adopted by cities committed to improving the quality of housing for families. The Initiative has a goal to complete 100,000 Green and Healthy units throughout the country in the next three to five years.

Through GHHI, the city will work with partner organizations, including the National Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, Baltimore Department of Housing and Community Development, Baltimore Community Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Abell Foundation, Rebuilding Together, Maryland Energy Administration, Job Opportunities Task Force and others to make its housing stock more energy efficient, safer, and healthier for low and moderate income Baltimore families.

Over the next two years, the city and its partners will work to provide comprehensive energy efficiency, health, and safety upgrades in 450 homes. The benefits to Baltimore residents will include:

  • Decreased energy bills;
  • Decreased water bills;
  • Better health and less money spent on doctor and emergency room visits due to asthma, lead poisoning and other home based health and safety hazards;
  • Fewer days missed from work and school due to illness;
  • Increased property values and marketability as homes are improved, and;
  • New job and skills training opportunities in the city’s construction sector.

The Baltimore Community Foundation and Annie E. Casey Foundation have worked closely with the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning and city staff to establish GHHI in Baltimore and act as the leading edge for this national movement.

“GHHI is forging a cost-effective approach to creating safer, greener and healthier homes in the communities of greatest need and providing new opportunities for residents of those communities to build the skills they need to be part of the green economy,” says Ruth Ann Norton, Executive Director of the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning. “Through this coordinated partnership and government innovation, we have the ability to have tremendous micro impact and equally tremendous macro influence.”

In 2010, with support from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded the Coalition a contract to support fifteen Pilot Project sites nationally on the effort to change system processes and align, braid, and coordinate assets and resources to produce Green and Healthy Homes. The initiative partners, including philanthropy, the Federal Healthy Homes Work Group, HUD, CDC, the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will serve to inform the national agenda by generating best practices and lessons learned in the area of integrated green and healthy housing assessment and interventions. Green and Healthy Homes Initiative Sites include: Atlanta, GA, Flint, MI, Buffalo, NY, Chicago, IL, New Haven, CT, Cleveland, OH, Philadelphia, PA, Detroit, MI, San Antonio, TX, Providence, RI, Oakland, CA, Denver, CO, Cowlitz Tribe, WA, Spirit Lake Nation, ND

“Baltimore is fortunate to have such a strong cross-sector partnership in GHHI that will improve the quality of life and housing for kids and families,” said Scot E. Spencer, Associate Director for Advocacy and Influence at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. “We hope, that as a part of a national movement, GHHI will demonstrate the potential to create more efficient use of resources, improve community health and showcase the power of collaboration for long-term change.”

GHHI is an opportunity for philanthropy to collaborate with the city to leverage collective resources to improve the health and well-being of Baltimore residents. According to Tom Wilcox, the Baltimore Community Foundation’s president and CEO, “We must ensure that all of our children grow up in safe, healthy homes. We now have a road map to begin doing just that.”

Signatories of the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative Compact for the City of Baltimore Include:

  • The Honorable Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Mayor of Baltimore
  • Ruth Ann Norton, Executive Director, Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning and Green and Healthy Homes Initiative
  • Tom Wilcox, President, Baltimore Community Foundation
  • Scot E. Spencer, Associate Director for Advocacy and Influence, Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Bonnie Bessor, Executive Director, Rebuilding Together Baltimore
  • Cheryl Casciani, Chair, Commission on Sustainability
  • Jason Perkins-Cohen, Executive Director, Baltimore Jobs Opportunity Task Force
  • Elizabeth Harber, Senior Program Officer, Community Developmentm The Abell Foundation
  • The Honorable Dana Stein, Executive Director, Civic Works



About the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative™

The Green & Healthy Homes Initiative™ (GHHI) works in collaboration with local and federal agencies, and philanthropic partners to align, braid, and coordinate funding and programs to create green, healthy, and safe homes in low-income communities nationwide. Directed by the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning (Coalition), with support from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Energy and national and local foundations GHHI replaces stand-alone programs with a comprehensive strategy to improve health, economic and social outcomes through an integrated housing intervention framework. 

About the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning

Founded in 1986 as a response to the twin tragedies of unhealthy housing and unhealthy children, the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning (Coalition) is a national 501(c)3 non-profit organization that creates, implements, and promotes programs and policies to eradicate childhood lead poisoning, reduce asthma episodes and further the creation of green, healthy and lead-safe homes. The Coalition manages local direct services programs that include green and healthy housing interventions, training programs, and relocation, legal, and education services. Nationally, the organization is a leading provider of public policy and technical assistance services to government agencies, non-profits, and philanthropy to support effective and efficient implementation of programs and policies that create energy efficient, healthy and safe homes. 

media inquiries

For more information about the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative, and for press and communications matters, please contact:

Kaletha Henry, Senior Communications Associate (443)-842-5712

To arrange an interview with our President & CEO Ruth Ann Norton, members of the media should contact:

Julie Villar, Executive Assistant to the President and CEO (443)-842-5713